April 2, 2012

Why I took the April Fool’s Day John Friend “interview” down.

The “interview” was fake. It never happened. John would never had said half that silly stuff.

It said April Fool’s in the article, and was posted on April Fool’s, and for anyone who actually read the whole thing, it was clearly fake (see below). Don’t worry: John didn’t give me any interview in which he asked me to be the new head of Anusara yoga (and wherein I declined).

My intent was not to make light of the situation, or make (mean) fun of John. The intent behind April Fool’s is to prank. To fool. I think I’ve demonstrated (in the public view) that I care about all concerned and am trying to be fair.

For those Friends of John who 1a) thought it was real or 1b) get offended by its tone 2) without reading it, let me clarify.

The interview never happened. It was an April Fool’s Day spoof, posted on April Fool’s Day. Its purpose, if anything, was to make fun of myself, elephant, crazy commenters, John and the entire “scandal” that’s rocked the Anusara yoga world, and now is appearing in mainstream media.

I can’t in all honesty apologize for penning an April Fool’s spoof. I am however sincerely happy to personally apologize for any confusion caused to those of you who didn’t realize it was April Fool’s day when this was posted, and who didn’t bother to read the text, which explicitly states that this is an April Fool’s day spoof.


Here’s the ending of the “interview,” for those of you who didn’t read it: 

Waylon Lewis

…But I don’t smoke potI’m Buddhist, as I might have mentioned.

John Friend:

This isn’t me talking.

Waylon Lewis:

It rarely is.

John Friend:

Hah. No, I mean, seriously, this is all some sort of dream.

Waylon Lewis:

Everything is a dream. Regard all Dharmas as dreams, as we Buddhists say.

John Friend:

Brilliant. Thanks for your wisdom, Waylon. And btw, you’re incredibly humble, charming, and good-looking.

Waylon Lewis:

You’re a bit…doughy. Happy April Fool’s, all.



> It was April Fool’s day.

> It says April Fool’s in the title

> And at the end of the article

> And now there’s a big apology for confusion/clarification up top on the “interview”

> And now I’ve agreed to take down the “interview”

> And I’ve offered this “apology.”

I continue to feel personal, genuine empathy for John and all involved in this situation—and I sincerely do not believe that this spoof is bad for anything. If I did, I wouldn’t have written it. In fact, speaking of harm, I think Team John’s evasive, defensive approach has made this situation far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far worse for Anusara and John’s reputation than it needed to be.

If I were involved, I would be happily providing different counsel than John has received along the way. Just take blame. Be personal, emotionally open. Tell the lawyers to take a hike, at least in terms of communication style. Then leave: get thee on retreat, surrounded by appropriate resources for personal growth.


Clifnotes for those who can’t be bothered, yet again, to read the whole thing, but who may’ve skipped right to the end, to get to the good part:

It was April Fool’s! Laughing at ourselves and myself and himself and the situation—not making light of it, but poking fun at ourselves—is healthy, in my view.

I thought it was funny, and many folks who read it did, obviously. Not mean-funny, just much-needed satire on an everyone’s-taking-themselves-too-seriously situation.

Obviously the other way–the whole suppress/control/lawyer tack, has not helped the situation.

As “we Buddhists say,” making fun of ourselves is serious business. Humor provides a moment that pops solidity and returns us to our fundamental, basic goodness—our don’t-know mind. ~ ed.

PS:  Finally, I’d like to clarify that I don’t think John is doughy. That was a reference to the infamous NY Times article calling him doughy. It’s a…joke.

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